Fuming parents say their kids are now questioning whether Father Christmas really exists after a “rip-off” festive celebration saw a Santa Claus with his beard “hanging off” hand out unwrapped presents to disappointed youngsters.
Families splashed out £15 for children and £5 for adults to attend a 'Christmas With Paddington' experience at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, where youngsters supposedly got to meet Santa and Paddington Bear.
But gutted visitors were left raging after the "noticeably rushed" experience, with one dad adding: "Considering the cost, this is the worst Santa experience I have ever witnessed.
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“I am so angry that my kids left feeling rushed, underwhelmed and questioning if Santa was real."
Others took to Tripadvisor to slam the event, with Manchester Evening News reporting that one mum wrote: "Honestly the worst Santa experience I've ever been to.
“It was disorganised and Santa was not very believable. My five-year-old son did not think he was the real Santa and called him an imposter!”
With another adding on Trafford Centre's Facebook post: "Got a present from Santa whose beard was falling off and they couldn't even be bothered to wrap the present. My five-year-old got a book that he will probably be able to read when he's about 10, shocking experience."
But not everyone was left seething, and other families hit back at the negative comments, telling everyone to "stop moaning ".
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Grandma Lisa Brocklehurst wrote: "Paddington was so amazing and Santa even better, the team are faultless and really friendly and patient, good value for money.”
The Trafford Centre itself said there had been "a very small number of negative reviews" but a "huge amount of positive feedback”.
A spokesperson said: “Christmas with Paddington has already welcomed thousands of guests who have all thoroughly enjoyed it. The event is a high-quality experience which has been hand-crafted by our small team and we really do care about all our visitors.
"The vast majority of our guests have been really complimentary about their time with us; meeting Paddington, our amazing elves and the magical moment with Santa. We are excited to welcome many thousands more families before Christmas Eve.”
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